Most kids love spending time with grandma. But, sometimes it is hard to coordinate schedules.
I don’t want to say it takes a village, but it definitely takes more than one reliable babysitter to raise four kids.
Redditor Quite_A-Gurl37 encountered this very issue with her mom. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for telling my mom I’m going to hire a sitter instead of letting her babysit?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My husband and I have 4 kids (11 years to 5 years).”
“We live about an hour away from my parents. Since our first was born my mom has told us we need to take time together and have regular monthly date nights.”
“At first we asked the grandparents if they could watch the kid(s) one night a month but the more kids we had the less we asked just out of guilt on our part, I mean four is a lot to watch even if you’re being paid ya know, and because to be honest none of them ever really seemed available since they still work full time, have other commitments etc.”
OP and her husband are taking a trip.
“Last week I told my mom that husband and I were planning a trip for our anniversary this year (15 years). She asked when we are going and then proceeded to tell me she couldn’t watch the kids that week and suggested we move our trip to the following month when she is on vacation.”
“We can’t even if we wanted to as we don’t have the time off then.”
“I explained to her that we already had childcare worked out. Our two oldest are going to be at sleep away camp, our two youngest are staying with their aunt (his sister) and uncle.”
“She seemed kind of upset and said she should have been the first person asked in regards to child care and she felt as if she was always left out”
The situation escalated quickly.
“This next part is where I think I might be the a**hole.”
“I told her that we used to do that but since she was never available it was just easier to hire a sitter because they would be more reliable.”
“That’s when she got really upset.”
“About an hour after she left my sister called me and told me I was a jerk telling my mom she was replaceable and nothing more than an unreliable sitter. My husband doesn’t think so and feels I was just being honest and that she shouldn’t be angry since she knows she’s always unavailable.”
“That’s not what I said nor how I think of her.”
“I know she loves my kids. She’s their grandmother…but she is always busy and we just stopped asking because we never knew if she could watch them or not and just preferred to not have her be our go to sitter.”
“But maybe the way I said it was wrong?”
“I might be the a**hole for telling my mom she’s an unreliable source of childcare.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA….it’s funny she got upset when she wasn’t even available for the week in question.” ~ MB1428
“And she expected them to move their trip to accommodate her availability. NTA, OP. My mom does this too! Expects all date nights and weekends away to be scheduled around her work schedule. For two working parents with 3 kids.” ~ Efficient_Ease_4768
“Same with my mother. She complained she didn’t see her grandkid for 2 weeks and when I tried to arrange the visit she was too busy (hairdresser, nails, cosmetics, coffee with coworker etc.) And then she wanted me to postpone kid’s doc appointment (we waited 3 months for it)” ~ Suspicious_Jicama150
“So annoying! My mom will call on Friday night and tell us she expects us to be at a cookout she scheduled for the next day. When I tell her we cannot make it because we already committed to x, y, z she says in choosing that over my faaaaaaamily and keeping her babies from her by not cancelling everything else immediately.”
“But she’s too busy to see us next weekend.” ~ Efficient_Ease_4768
Redditors argued OP’s mom needs to appear available is she wants to be OP’s go to babysitter.
“NTA. You can’t wait around for your parents to be free all the time. It’s unfortunate she took what you said the way she did. At best I’d apologize for how she felt and explain that you don’t see her as an unreliable babysitter 🙄 talk about taking things out context.” ~ Apple_crumble_always
“It’s not OP’s job to manage her mother’s feelings.” ~ TychaBrahe
“NTA. Not sure why your mom is even mad here. She’s not available when you guys are going on the trip anyway.” ~ Delicious-Fuel-5734
OP answered some questions.
“If she was always unavailable when you asked then I’d assume she was being polite and didn’t want to watch them or I would take it at face value and just make alternative plans.”
“Does she ever offer to watch them or have them over to spend time with them?” ~ No_Elephant3224
“She does come over and visit a lot but she doesn’t like to have the kids stay over with them because they do live in a small home and they watch my sister’s dogs while she’s at work/school.”
“The dogs are great but just big. So four kids, a husky, and a German Sheppard (both of which are like perpetual three year olds lol) in a tiny house is way too much for them, which I get. I think maybe she assumed she and the dogs would come to our house for the week and watch the kids. Maybe?” ~ Quite_A-Gurl37
“Could she cope with that? And if they live an hour away do the dogs just stay all week too? Seems like a lot especially if she’s got to walk the dogs and get the kids ready etc.”
“I’d just say you were being realistic because I wouldn’t want to drop all that on one person for a week.”
“Remind her she can come over any weekend and take maybe 2 of them out for a day somewhere so they get nice one on one time.” ~ No_Elephant3224
They can make time to see grandma some other weekend.